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Technology for the new decade

As we enter the 4th Industrial Revolution technology is evolving faster than ever and companies that fail to keep up with some of the biggest tech trends run the risk of being left behind. Outlining and understanding key trends will allow companies to prepare and grasp opportunities.

Therefore, we are sharing a selection of the most crucial tech trends that everyone should get ready for in 2020:

AI implementations continued growth

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most vital tech evolutions of all time and many companies have started identifying different way to use AI to improve their customer experience and streamline their business operations. This will continue in 2020 and whilst some people are getting used to working alongside AI, designing and developing our own AI based systems will remain a very expensive opportunity for many companies. Hence, why AI applications within a business will continue to be provided by third parties as a service. This type of application allows the company to feed their own data and then pay for the algorithms as they use them.

These platforms, mainly provided by Amazon, Google and Microsoft, are broad in scope with custom engineering applied to perform the specific tasks the company may require. In 2020, we will see wider adoption and a larger number of providers that will be offering more tailored and customised applications and services for specific tasks. Therefore, businesses shouldn’t have any excuses as to why they shouldn’t adopt AI as part of their processes.

Extended Reality

Extended Reality (XR) is a popular term covering several new emerging technologies and is used to deliver even more immersive digital experience. More specifically it involves virtual, augmented and mixed reality. Virtual reality (VR) delivers a fully digitally immersive experience by allowing you to enter a computer-generated world using headsets that blend out the real environment. Augmented reality (AR) in comparison overlays digital objects into a real environment through smartphone screens and displays (i.e. Snapchat filters). Mixed reality (MR) is a further development of AR, that allows users to interact with the digital object placed in the real environment (i.e. playing a hologram guitar placed in your room through a AR headset).

Although these technologies are not new, they have mainly been implemented in the entertainment area – with Oculus Rift and Vive headsets delivering the current state of art in videogames and smartphone features (i.e. camera filters and Pokemon Go). In 2020 we expect that to change and more businesses to benefit from adopting XR. VR and AR and them becoming more fundamentally prevalent for training and simulation, as well as delivering new interactive ways to engage your audience.

Computer Vision

In the computing field, the term “vision” is including systems that are identifying items, places, objects and/or people from visual images collected by camera or sensor. This is the technology allowing your camera on your smartphone to recognise which part of the image is capturing your face, and powers technology such as Google Image Search. In 2020, we are expecting to see more computer vision equipped tools along with technology rolled out for an ever-increasing number of users. This will play a crucial role in the way autonomous cars will recognise and navigate their way around danger.

Furthermore, production lines will adopt computer vision cameras to identify defective products and equipment failures, while security cameras will alert us if anything is out of the ordinary. Furthermore, computer vision also enables face recognition which will be a very popular topic in 2020. We have already witnessed how effective this technology is for controlling access to our smartphones referring to Apple Face ID and how Dubai airport is using it to provide an easier and greater customer journey. However, as the usage of this technology will grow in the next year, we will also see more debates about limiting its use because of its potential to erode privacy.

Blockchain

Even the fact that blockchain is a trend that has been highly covered this year, there are still people in non-tech-savvy companies who are not aware of this technology. However, 2020 is predicted to be the year when blockchain takes over. This technology is applied as a digital ledger to record secured transactions due to its encrypted decentralised nature. In 2019 some technology experts argued that the technology is overrated and perhaps not as useful as initially thought. However, big companies like IBM, FedEx, Mastercard and Walmart have continued investing in it and the results are likely to prove its efficiency leading to an increased adoption even by smaller players.

5G networks

The 5G mobile internet networks will not only provide super-fast download and upload speed but also a much more stable connection. 5G data networks were introduced for the first time in 2019, however they were quite expensive with limited functionality and only in major cities. 2020 is expected to be the year when 5G will completely overtake the data networks with more affordable and suitable data plans as well as greatly improved coverage, allowing everyone to join it.

Furthermore, super-fast data networks will not only be used when we are on the move, but also, they will become more usable than wired networks installed in our homes and businesses. Companies should consider the business benefits of the ability to operate with a super-fast and stable internet connection anywhere. The increased bandwidth will allow machines, robots and autonomous vehicles to gather and transfer more data than ever, leading to a significant improvement of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart machinery.

Autonomous Vehicles

While we are still not expecting to see fully autonomous vehicles in 2020, they will undoubtedly continue to generate significant excitement.

Elon Musk (Tesla CEO) has claimed that he expects his company to develop a truly “complete” autonomous vehicle by 2020 and the number of vehicles with the capability of operating with a lesser degree of autonomy (i.e. automated breaking and lane-changing system) will become an increasingly common sight. Furthermore, other in-car systems not directly connected to driving, such as entertainment and security functions will become more automated and reliant on data collection and analytics. Waymo (Google’s sister company) has successfully completed a trial of autonomous taxis in California, where they transported more than 6200 passengers in the first month.

With the significant growth of autonomous driving technology, we will also start hearing more about the measures that should be considered by regulators, legislators and authorities. Before autonomous driving becomes part of our day to day lives there should be some changes to law, infrastructure and social attitudes to be implemented. During 2020, we are expecting to see the debate around autonomous vehicles to spread outside of the tech world, as more people come around to the idea, the question is not “if” but rather “when” autonomous driving become a reality.

Personalised and predictive medicine

Technology is already crucially transforming healthcare. The ability to capture date from wearable devices like smartwatches is allowing us to make predictions and treat health issues in people even before any symptoms have occurred.

Furthermore, we will see more personalised treatments. Thanks to the data-driven understanding of the effectiveness of the precision medicine for a specific patient, doctors are more confident to precisely prescribe medicines and apply personalised treatments. Although this is not new, thanks to the continuous technology innovation, especially in the areas of genomics and AI, we can understand clearly how different peoples’ bodies are better or worse prepared to fight specific diseases, as well as how they are likely to react to different medicines and treatments.

During 2020, we are expecting to see new applications of predictive healthcare and more personalised treatments being introduced to ensure better outcomes for individuals.

 

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